Apple TV or Mac Mini?

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by alansmallen, Apr 13, 2009.

  1. alansmallen macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2007
    #1
    Hey guys. I'm wondering whether I should get an Apple TV or a Mac Mini. I'm looking for an 100% independent box that can download shows or movies from iTunes or other sources. Either way, I'll have Boxee or Plex running on the machine. I want to have shows downloaded using TED or watched from Hulu on the box without using another computer. With the Mini, this would be easy. I haven't figured it out with the ATV.

    Any suggestions?

    Alan
     
  2. michael.lauden macrumors 68020

    michael.lauden

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2008
    #2
    yeah use the search.

    you can run Boxee on the ATV and subscribe to your Hulu feeds on there too.

    same thing with the mini.
     
  3. alansmallen thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2007
    #3
    I searched but I couldn't find anything. Sorry


    Can I get Boxee to automatically download videos from torrents? Such as Revision 3, etc?
     
  4. spice weasel macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2003
    #4
    I think you answered your own question. The ATV is a great device, but it is obviously more limited than the Mac mini. It's also cheaper. If you want a full-fledged HTPC, then go with the mini.
     
  5. alansmallen thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    Jun 25, 2007
    #5
    What won't I be getting from the ATV?
     
  6. alansmallen thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    Jun 25, 2007
    #7
    I just started playing with it. It's really well designed and beautiful.



    500TH POST!!!!
    :)
     
  7. Tilpots macrumors 601

    Tilpots

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    Apr 19, 2006
    Location:
    Carolina Beach, NC
    #8
    You want a mini. An AppleTV needs another computer.
     
  8. alansmallen thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    Jun 25, 2007
    #9
    Not with Boxee.

    I just really can't justify the 200+ dollar price difference.
     
  9. Tilpots macrumors 601

    Tilpots

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    Location:
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    #10
    How are you going to set Boxee up without another computer?:rolleyes:
     
  10. michael.lauden macrumors 68020

    michael.lauden

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    Dec 25, 2008
    #11
    i would seriously recommend the mini over the ATV any day. the ATV can only play (right now, to my knowledge) 720p.

    and with that 200$ price difference... well you could actually have a computer and have something that can be easily upgraded. on the software side.... you can install anything.



    the mac mini can do everything the ATV can and more. you can find many threads on MR about people who switched from the ATV to a mini.
     
  11. spice weasel macrumors 65816

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    Jul 25, 2003
    #12
    Well, you need to decide what you really want. You said you wanted a device you could use without having another computer on. Depending on how large your media library is, that might exclude the ATV. Even the 160 gig model gets cramped pretty quickly when you fill it up with movies and TV shows.

    I have an ATV and love it. Others have minis and love them. Think about what your use will be and then go from there.
     
  12. alansmallen thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    Jun 25, 2007
    #13
    I'm talking about on a day to day use not having another computer

    I'd be downloading the video and then deleting it. I just can't justify the $200 price difference.

    I'm actually kind of mad now because I was originally gonna go for the Mini, which microcenter had new 2.0 for $400. Then I started thinking about the ATV, and now the Microcenter deal is over.
     
  13. gugy macrumors 68030

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    Jan 31, 2005
    Location:
    La Jolla, CA
    #14
    Mini all the way now.

    AppleTV is too limited, specially because does not play 1080p and the storage is too small.
    Mini you can use Plex which is great and you can hook up external drives and expand your library as you wish.
    I am about to buy a Mini. AppleTV needs a hardware version 2.0 for me to consider it if they address the issues above. Until then the Mini rules.
     
  14. alansmallen thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    Jun 25, 2007
    #15
    Mini it is....for now. Well, until someone attempts to change my mind.
     
  15. mac88 macrumors 6502

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    Aug 7, 2008
    Location:
    Boston, MA.
    #16
    I run a modified Apple TV. I like what it does and what I use it for (Movies, etc.). I would love to ultimately switch that out for a Mini just because of the more options.
     
  16. alansmallen thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    Jun 25, 2007
    #17
    Essentially:

    Apple TV
    Small and light
    One cable straight to computer
    Easy interface

    Mac Mini
    Full operating system
    All features of Apple TV
    Plex
    1080p support
     
  17. mac88 macrumors 6502

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    Aug 7, 2008
    Location:
    Boston, MA.
    #18

    Looks good to me.
     
  18. alansmallen thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    Jun 25, 2007
    #19
    Forgot to add
     
  19. michael.lauden macrumors 68020

    michael.lauden

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    Dec 25, 2008
    #20
    yeah.

    also you can't really call the Mac Mini large and heavy.


    and it's not to say the Mini doesn't have an easy interface.

    it has front row - which can be controlled with the EXACT same remote as the ATV, and it can use Boxee (which kills plex IMO), Plex and any other program you so choose.


    not to mention it has one of the most intuitive, streamlined operating systems known to man OS X 10.5 Leopard, and soon to be even more streamlined and light weight, Snow Leopard.

    so i think right now the only feature the ATV has is the 1 cable mumbo jumbo.


    :D

    if you couldn't tell... i'm rooting for the mini :)
     
  20. alansmallen thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #21
    But the Apple TV has the edge when it comes to price.
     
  21. mac88 macrumors 6502

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    Aug 7, 2008
    Location:
    Boston, MA.
    #22
    If price is the thing then go for the Apple TV. As a whole, the Mini is the way to go. I know it's more money, but you get what you pay for (more options).
     
  22. kage207 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2008
    #23
    The real nice thing I like about ATV, is the Wishlist factor, Boxee (yes you can have this on the Mini too), and you can see top sales and top rentals. Iunno, I just like ATV interface.
     
  23. alansmallen thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    Jun 25, 2007
    #24
    Between Boxee, Flex, Front Row, and iTunes I get everything you listed.
     
  24. TuckBodi macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2007
    #25
    Interesting topic. I've had an ATV since almost day 1 and a Mac mini as my media server just as long. A long time ago I tried out Plex but backed off when Sapphire and ATVFiles became available through Frontrow to play my SD content. With more HD content available now I decided to play around with my mini & the latest Plex in my front room setup. My findings:

    Mac mini (i.83GHz, 4gb RAM) -
    - Plex has really matured and they've done a lot of nice additional things to the XBMC codebase (I've been a longtime user of XBMC)
    - But.....just today I probably had it lock up on me at least half a dozen times. Seems very buggy. I never see XBMC lock up on my ATV.
    - With the Mac mini I had major issues trying to get the DVI/HDMI working. First it was an overscan issue, then letterboxing, until finally no signal. Not sure if this is a mini issue or my Sammy. Bailed on HDMI and went the VGA route.
    - I've also been having all kinds of audio quirkiness. First AC3 was working, then it stopped for awhile and then it worked again. And right now all my system sounds are shut off whereas they worked this morning.
    - Played 720 stuff no problem but it seemed to be dropping frames on the one 1080 file I have. Need to investigate profile, etc.
    - Plex has fixed AC3 passthrough while on XBMC it's a no-go.
    - Plex choked & died on Aeon Stark, which if it worked would have sealed the deal for me, while XBMC played it great but the lack of AC3 was still a deal-breaker (hopefully the Plex guys will get the kinks worked out of Stark)

    AppleTV -
    - Cannot get AC3 passthrough in XBMC on here either (known issue) through my receiver although I can get it through Sapphire.
    - Only can get up to 720 (Apple m4v format) and while my library is 99% SD content I know HD is the future.
    - The new XBMC skins (i.e. Stark) run very sluggish but there are lite versions which make it okay (still not as fast as the mini).
    - Single remote control with a single interface to deal with (mini you have to use a keybord/mouse initially and then jump over to the remote (for some skins)).

    Summary, if money is not an issue then I'd probably go the mini route but know that it's not without it's hiccups.
     

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